NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A judge on Thursday said the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board cannot access the grand jury minutes in the case against a police officer who held Eric Garner in a fatal chokehold.
Brooklyn Supreme Court Judge William Garnett said Thursday the agency has no “compelling need” to access material related to grand jury proceedings involving Officer Daniel Pantaleo. The grand jury declined to indict the officer.
Garnett said releasing the information, which is typically secret, would set a bad precedent.
Board Chairman Richard Emery argued that investigators need access to conduct a thorough investigation.
The Staten Island District Attorney’s office opposed the request. It said the board had no standing to obtain the secret records.
Emery says the decision was not in line with the law and vowed to appeal.
A lower court judge had declined in March to release the testimony, citing longstanding principles of grand jury secrecy.
Garner died on July 17, 2014, in a controversial confrontation caught on cellphone video with police on Staten Island. In December, a grand jury declined to indict NYPD officer involved, Daniel Pantaleo, and protests erupted on city streets.
A federal inquiry is ongoing in the case.
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